Adult Art Project, Art Project, Kid's Art Project, Preschool Art, Process Art

Blow Painting: Process art for kids and Adults!

Blow Painting

Blow painting is a fun process art activity for multiple age groups. Simply change the type of paint or pigment used for different effects and for different age groups. Read on to find out the general process plus check out my top 5 favorite projects using this technique! There are projects for preschoolers, school aged kids, and even adults…so read on.

 

Be sure to check out my top 5 favorite blow paint projects!

 

For this project you are going to need:

  • Thinned paint or ink, depending on the group you are painting with. More on that later!
  • A dropper or pipette
  • Paper or canvas, the type used needs to work well with the choice of paint/ink you are using. Being sure to use a high quality substrate that matches the intended project will always offer the best results. For kid’s projects I like to use a 90# mixed media paper or a watercolor paper. For adults I might use the watercolor paper, canvas, or specialty paper depending on the paint medium being offered.
  • A drinking straw.
  • Optional: Additional items to finish out your project, i.e googly eyes, glitter, sharpies, ect.

Process:

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  1. Prepare your paint. I love to use liquid watercolors but watered down tempera paints work well also for the first three projects. The 4th and 5th projects require their own special paints and papers/substraits.
  2. Drip your paint/ink onto your paper using the dropper. 90# mixed media paper or watercolor paper work best for this project. Thinner paper tends to rip too easy.
  3. Aim your straw at the paint drip and blow into the straw, allowing the paint to spread and splatter.
  4. Try turning your paper as you blow through your straw to spread the paint around more.
  5. Continue to drip paint and blow through the straw until you are satisfied with the result!

You can enjoy this projects as it is or extend it with one of the following project ideas to finish it out!

Check out my top 5 favorite blow paint projects below!

 

Project 1: Blow paint monsters

blow paint monster collage

Recommended Age:  Preschool – 9 years

Simply add one or more googly eyes to the paint splatter to create a blow paint monster. If the paint is really wet you can probably just add the googly eyes to the wet paint, otherwise you may need to use a dot of glue on each eye.

 

Project 2: Flower Gardens

flower collage

 

Recommended Age: 6-12 years

  1. Direct the children to aim towards the middle of the page to drip the paint and blow the splatters out. Encourage them to make several splatters, allowing colors to mix.
  2. Next give them some green paint. I like to use a couple of different shades of green to create a bit of depth.
  3. Have them hold their paper up or prop it up on an easel. Ask them to create the stems and grass for the flowers by using the gravity painting technique. Hold the dropper at the bottom of their blown out flower and allow the green to drip down the page.
  4. Create a few leaves by blowing through the straw at the green stem in a few places.
  5. Optional: Once the paint has dried completely allow the child to add details to the flowers or accent certain shapes using ultra fine point sharpies.

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Project 3: Blow paint portraits

hair collage

Recommended Age: 5-12 years

  1. Have the child draw a bald character on a piece of paper, being sure that they leave room for the hair! I find that a bust (head and shoulders works best for this project).
  2. Have the child use the dropper to drip the paint on the hairline.
  3. Use the straw to blow the hair out and away from the face.

 

Project 4: High flow acrylics on Canvas

liquid pour collage

Recommended Age: Teen- Adult

For this project I like to use canvas panels as opposed to paper. Canvas panels are also cheaper and a bit sturdier than stretched canvas. They do not tend to droop the way a stretched canvas might under the weight of pooled up paint. You can use high flow acrylics or you can make your own by adding a bit of elmer’s gel glue and water to your acrylic paints. The consistency should be similar to pancake batter.

Tip: These will take a long time to dry so I have found it useful to place the canvas in a box as I work. Gift boxes work well for this. You can also use plastic bottle caps to hold the canvas panels off of the bottom of the box so that as it dries it does not stick to the box.

  1. Set up your work space by placing the canvas on a level flat surface. See the tip above for ideas incase you might need to move the piece prior to drying.
  2. You can either pour your high flow acrylics directly onto your canvas or you can add smaller amounts by using a dropper/pipette as described above in the other projects.
  3. Use the straw to help move the paints around you canvas by blowing into it. You can also tilt the canvas and allow gravity to move the paint.

Note: Part of the fun of this type of painting is letting go of the control. Allow yourself to enjoy watching the paint move and flow. Remember that often the paint will continue to move a bit as it dries, so it will likely continue to change form as it dries.

 

Project 5: Alcohol Inks

alcohol inks collage

Recommended Age: Teen to Adult

For this project you are going to need a few more specialty items:

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Alcohol Inks, my favorite brand is Ranger.
  • Yupo Paper
  • Small plastic paint pallet
  • Droppers/pipette
  • Straw
  • Optional: small paint brush, old plastic gift card, alcohol wipes

Process:

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  1. You can drip inks directly from the bottle onto your yupo paper if you wish.
  2. Use the straw to blow the ink around. The ink will continue to blow around until the alcohol evaporates.
  3. Alternately you can mix a few drops of alcohol with a few drop of the ink in your pallet and use the dropper or a small brush to add it to the yupo paper.
  4. Play with ways to manipulate the ink by blowing through the straw, painting into it with the paint brush and more ink or even plain alcohol, or scraping it with the plastic card.

Note: The inks can be reactivated with more alcohol and reworked.

*To clean up your alcohol ink tools use the rubbing alcohol rather than water.

I hope you enjoy these projects as much as I do! I would love to hear your experiences. Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

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Until next time,

Signiture

Art Project, Preschool Art

Gravity Painting with Preschoolers

Paint the Rain

One of my favorite projects with preschool aged kids is gravity painting. There is something so rewarding about watching paint drip. The kids alway have such a great time with this one! This project is very easy to set up and can be done easily at home. Keep in mind that it has the potential to be quite messy though so if you are worried about a mess you may want to try this one outside!

gravity painting collage

You will need:

  • Small jars
  • Eye droppers or pipettes
  • Washable paints, I prefer liquid watercolors though tempera paint works well too.
  • Water to dilute paint.
  • Paper to paint on. I like to use a watercolor paper or at least a 90# paper for durability.
  • Drop cloth for floor or table if painting inside.
  • Some sort of easel or wall that you can attach your paper to.

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Set up:

  1. Prepare your space by covering the floor and or table where you will be painting.
  2. Attach your paper to an easel or wall. Be sure that it is at the correct height for your child. They should be able to comfortably reach the top of the paper.
  3. Prepare your paints by mixing with water. Paints should be thin enough to be collected in the dropper and to drip. I like a fairly watery consistency for this project. Just make sure that you have enough paint to give a rich color.
  4. Place one dropper or pipette into each color.

A note on paints: For this project select 2-4 colors of paint to work with. Be sure to keep your paint colors in the same color family in order to avoid brown drips…unless brown is what you are after! Warm colors: reds, oranges, yellows work well together as do cool colors: blues, greens, purples…

Spilled paint
Remember messes are likely!

For this project I love to tell the kids that we are going to be painting rain! So I tend to choose dark blues, purples, and turquoise colors to paint with.

Process:

Gravity painting collage1
A mom guiding her child to squeeze the dropper by gently placing her hand over his to demonstrate when to squeeze.
  1. Invite the child to paint. As I said before, I love to tell the kids that we will be painting rain. This is a fun way to relate this project to their life experience a bit.
  2. Show the child how to squeeze the dropper or pipette in the paint to collect the paint. I like to really slow this down and exaggerate my movements. Ex: Say, “Squeeze” and very slowly squeeze the dropper in an exaggerated way.
  3. Then say “Let go,” and while the dropper is in the jar completely remove you hand from the dropper, showing the child your empty hand. This is important for children who do not yet have experience with droppers. Otherwise they tend to continue squeezing as they lift the dropper and the paint comes back out before they get it to the page.
  4. Next demonstrate lifting the dropper out of the paint. Point out the paint in the dropper to the child. Finally show the child how to hold the dropper at the top of the page again. Say, “Squeeze” allow the paint to drip down the page.
  5. Hand the dropper to the child and say, “Your turn.” It may take them several tries to collect paint and get it to the paper. That is OK. Unless they are showing signs of frustration allow them to continue exploring it unassisted. If they seem frustrated, repeat the above steps or gently guide their hand as you demonstrate.

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Exploration is key here. Allowing the child to fully engage with the tools is the goal. It may take some time for them to master the tools and they might instead try to paint with or draw with the dropper. All of that is ok. They are exploring something new and relating it to their previous life experiences. Most of all have fun with this project. If the child loses interest, don’t force it. Perhaps try again later. I have noticed that some children respond better to a project the second or third time it is introduced. So don’t worry if your child is not interested, simply try again at a later time!

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This project is a great exploration for older toddlers and preschoolers, but it can also be extended for older children. I have done this project with kids up to 12 years old with great results. For older children try having the child paint a landscape or an umbrella type rain scene on their page first. Then you can have them add the rain to finish it off. Kids of all ages enjoy watching the paint drip!

gravity painting collage2

I hope you have a blast with this project! I would love to hear your experiences with it. Feel free to leave a comment.

Signiture